COCONINO COUNTY, Ariz. — Body camera video captured the frantic moments after a UTV crash at a Coconino County campground left a woman with traumatic injuries.
The video shows deputy Andrew Luna speaking with campers during the Labor Day weekend when a UTV rolled over nearby. What followed were shouts for help and screaming as the deputy ran to the crash.
12 News has learned the victim of the crash and the driver of the UTV was 19-year-old Lidia Almeida.
“I was basically holding my whole arm in my hand,” Almeida said via Zoom. “My shirt was full of blood. My pants were full of blood.”
Almeida can be heard asking “Do you think I’m going to die?” as Luna called for a medic.
Investigators say the UTV crashed on its left side and severed the woman’s arm below the elbow. It was later amputated.
Both Luna and the witnesses started rendering first aid to the woman. One man can be seen in the video removing his own shirt to help control the bleeding as the deputy placed a tourniquet around the woman’s arm.
Luna had to transport the woman out of the area in his patrol car due to the remote location of the crash along Highway 87 near Clints Well.
“I’m really grateful they were there,” Almeida said.
Almeida was finally airlifted to Honor Health – Scottsdale Osborn, and the department says the quick actions of Luna and the witnesses greatly helped her chances of survival.
Almeida said the UTV had a seatbelt, but it didn’t have window nets. UTV expert Josh Rich told 12 News a window net likely would’ve kept Almeida from reaching her arm out of the window.
“If she would’ve had that net window, I think it would’ve saved her from putting her arm out or having her arm extended to where it wouldn’t have gotten caught under the UTV," says Rich.
Almeida survived the ordeal, but she is now left with one functioning arm. She is trying to raise money to get a prosthetic arm. She has set up a GoFundMe account with the goal of raising $15,000 to help her pay for a new arm.
In addition to the page, Almeida’s employer, Barro’s Pizza at 35th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, will donate 25% of all proceeds from sales on Sept. 21 to Almeida’s cause. Almeida works the counter at that location.